Three of the victims in Sunday’s fatal plane collision above Nevada’s North Las Vegas Airport have been identified. They include Zachary Rainey. He is survived by two sons.
Rainey, 47, who reportedly worked in real estate, was in one of the two planes. He was close to getting a pilot’s license. He was to take a flying lesson at the North Las Vegas Airport the day of the crash.
The plan, after the flying lesson, was that Rainey was going to take his sons, ages three and five, to a Las Vegas Aviators game on Sunday night. Baseball was his passion.
The Aviators are a minor league baseball team that plays in the Pacific Coast League and is affiliated with the Oakland Athletics. They beat the Salt Lake Bees, 6 to 1, that Sunday.
But it was not mean to be that Rainey and his sons would be in the stands.
When reached for her comments, Tarra Tidwell, Rainey’s ex-wife, told KVVU, a local TV station, she has warm memories of him and his unforgettable energy. They were married for more than 13 years. She is the mother of the two boys.
He was invincible. Nothing was ever going to happen to him,” Tidwell recalled. “You just always wanted to be around him, and he was just a really, really nice guy that loved helping people.”
Tidwell was notified by Rainey’s mom about the crash. The fear was he was among the victims, KVVU said. Tidwell immediately drove to the flight school after he did not respond to text messages.
She saw that Rainey’s car was parked outside. Later, the family was notified of his passing.
We’re just all trying to come to terms with it and realize that this is our reality and he’s not going to call us back and he’s not going to show up and he’s not going to be there,” Tidwell said.
Fundraising for Rainey
A GoFundMe page was set up to help his sons and to cover funeral expenses. As of mid-day Wednesday, it had raised $12,158. That is over twice its $5,000 goal.
Zach leaves behind 2 little boys, so unexpectedly,” the GoFundMe site says. “If you feel the need to donate something to help with funeral arrangements, travel expenses, or anything his boys will need, please do so.”
Two other victims were identified as Donald Stuart Goldberg, 82, and Carol Ann Scanlon, 76, according to the Clark County Coroner/Medical Examiner’s Office. The fourth victim has not been identified as of midday Wednesday.
There were no survivors, KLAS, a local TV station, reported Sunday afternoon, citing the Clark County Department of Aviation.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that a single-engine Piper PA-46 and a single-engine Cessna 172 collided mid-air at about noon. The Piper PA-46 was preparing to land, the FAA revealed in an initial statement to Casino.org.
The Piper crashed into a field east of a runway, federal officials told Casino.org. The Cessna fell into a water retention pond at the airport, officials added.
Two people were on board each of the planes at the time of the crash, the FAA said.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the FAA are investigating the crash. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates, the agency told Casino.org.
North Las Vegas Airport is second in Clark County in passenger volume to the much larger Harry Reid International Airport. Still, it is used by many visitors to the casinos, hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions found in Las Vegas.
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